Funding

Vend’s founder reveals how he scored $22 million from Valar Ventures and Square Peg Capital

Cara Waters /

Point-of-sale software provider Vend today announced an additional $22 million in capital funding led by PayPal co-founder and the first outside investor in Facebook, Peter Thiel of Valar Ventures, and Square Peg Capital.

Vaughan Rowsell, founder and chief executive of Vend, told SmartCompany the software provider will use the new funds to expand its presence in the North American market through new partnerships, resellers, staff and customers across the continent.

“We are in high growth mode and now is the time to really put the foot on the accelerator and continue our growth,” Rowsell says.

“It really enables us to grow our channel, working with point-of-sale retailers in Australia and through channels like Apple, Zero and PayPal.”

Launched in late 2010 in New Zealand, Vend now has offices in Australia and the United States and turned over $5 million last year. 

The operating system is used in over 10,000 stores in more than 100 countries but Rowsell has his sights set for further growth using the investment. 

“It also allows us to grow our headcount to 20 or so people on the ground in Australia, which allows us to work with much larger accounts,” he says.

Rowsell says Vend was able to secure the funding from Valar Ventures and Square Peg Capital after establishing a relationship with Thiel.

“We’ve been a part of the San Francisco scene for the last three years, we’ve had an office there and I’ve spent a lot of time in the Valley and it is one of the amazing things about that place that everyone is so connected,” he says.

“We’ve been looking for the opportunity to work closely with [Valar Ventures] as they bring a whole lot of expertise in terms of understanding the payments space and helping us unlock the US market.”

Rowsell says the size of Vend’s private capital raising “really validates the big shift in businesses moving to the cloud”.

He claims there is a “resurgence” of independent retailers who have become more competitive against big chain stores by adopting cloud-based point-of-sale software.

“Cloud-based retail in Australia is now going much more mainstream,” Rowsell says. 

Vend raised $NZ8 million ($A7.5m) in May 2013, and $NZ3 million between its  first two capital rounds in 2011 and 2012. 

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Cara Waters

Cara Waters is a former SmartCompany editor. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter for the Financial Times' website and worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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